The status of cultural institutions in the ever-changing and increasingly more digitalized world is certainly going through a transformation. However, it is common knowledge that institutions, especially cultural ones, are a sum of ideas and dedicated people. Some of those people serve as an inspiration, as an idea, and others bear the significance of energetic work. For more than a month, Chicago has been a home for such an institution – one that nurtures education in art, cultural influence on the community and the significance of a direct interaction with artwork. The Ed Paschke Art Center has opened.
The work of Ed Paschke represents a true paradigm of creativity resonating the pulse of an era. Artist’s work poetically echoed the nature of urban life and it was in a constant dialogue with technology and media. More than thirty years ago, Paschke spoke of great influence that film, video, newspapers and magazines had on his work. His creative process truly anticipated the digital era of urban art, as the artist’s notions and methodology on perspective and layering of colors felt deeply situated in his oil paintings. Visual media had an impact on the artist’s work in a way which resonated the proliferation of media-related technology and the notion of living in a “global society.” Through the medium of oil, Paschke managed to create a vast imagery of contemporaneity by setting it between the versatile perception inputs of 3D and 2D depiction. Thus, he managed to emanate the spirit of the progress of printing, television, film and other media-related technological changes. And if these are some of the crucial stances through which Ed Paschke, the artist, could be understood, then the understanding of Ed Paschke as a person could not be complete without the realization of his contributions to the community. A family dedicated individual, Paschke worked to help emerging artists and teach others on those aspects of our reality which he understood best. He was a teacher at Northwestern University and a great supporter of artists. This is only a part of meaning which will, from now on, reside in the symbolic power of Ed Paschke Art Center…
On June 22nd 2014, the date which marked the 75th birthday of Ed Paschke, doors of a cultural institution which foundations lie on the rich legacy of the artist and community oriented activism were opened. The Ed Paschke Art Center is on a mission of bringing art closer to the people of Chicago, nurturing the particularities of the cultural space of Chicago and the legacy of extraordinary creative expression of Ed Paschke. To paraphrase Vesna K. Stelcer, Board Chair of the Ed Paschke Foundation, the art center is a true reflection of the artist’s generous nature – the support of emerging artists, educational activity and what is, perhaps, the most important aspect, the belief of art being easily accessible to the public. All of this is already an important part of the Center’s activity, including programs for adults and youth, free admission and open doors seven days per week. The Art Center is proud to include a Paul Natkin photography exhibition, a Steve Schapiro exhibit and collaboration with Luminarts, a cultural foundation that supports and encourages rising Chicago artists. the Center has been funded through the support of The Rabb Family Foundation, as well as through partnerships with 3m Company, the Block Museum of Art and the School of the Art Institute. It is truly a fruitful result of inspirational and hardworking activity driven by the idea of Ed Paschke’s visionary work.
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